AskDefine | Define acerb

Dictionary Definition

acerb adj
1 sour or bitter in taste [syn: acerbic, astringent, sharp]
2 harsh or corrosive in tone; "an acerbic tone piercing otherwise flowery prose"; "a barrage of acid comments"; "her acrid remarks make her many enemies"; "bitter words"; "blistering criticism"; "caustic jokes about political assassination, talk-show hosts and medical ethics"; "a sulfurous denunciation" [syn: acerbic, acid, acrid, bitter, blistering, caustic, sulfurous, sulphurous, venomous, virulent, vitriolic]

User Contributed Dictionary



Latin acerbus, from acer sharp: compare French acerbe. See acrid


a*cerb AAH-suhrb


  1. Sour, bitter, and harsh to the taste, as unripe fruit.
  2. Sharp and harsh in expressing oneself.



bitter to the taste
  • Finnish: kitkerä
  • French: acerbe
  • Italian: acerbo
  • Latin: acerbus
  • Portuguese: acerbo
  • Spanish: acerbo
sharp and harsh in expression
  • Finnish: pureva, kitkerä


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